Clibborn: Contractors will finish “or never get another job”

January 24, 2015 at 10:14 pm

Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), chair of the House Transportation Committee, says she’s confident the Seattle tunnel project will be completed, because she says if it fails, the contractors ”will never get another job in the world.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Clibborn also expressed confidence that lawmakers will come up with a transportation package this year.

  • While the Governor is now proposing a carbon pollution charge to fund transportation projects, Clibborn says the primary gridlock in the legislature has not been over the funding source.  She says lawmakers have generally agreed to a gas tax hike, and the real sticking point remains the mix of projects.  Republicans want more money spent on highways and congestion relief, while Democrats are pushing for more transit, bike and multi-modal projects.  Lawmakers are also deadlocked on whether the state should be charging sales tax on construction projects, which goes to the general fund.
  • Clibborn says the Bertha tunneling project is “a drag,” but insists, it’s a problem for the contractors, not the Washington State Department of Transportation.
  • Clibborn says the City of Seattle is not justified in its concerns that the state has not been transparent about problems with the tunnel project.  Seattle recently hired its own consultants to evaluate groundwater issues, though Clibborn says, the City used “half a sentence” from state documents and took words out of context.

 

 

 

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